The St. Joseph girls outscored Hazen 18-2 in the third quarter before running away with a 43-12 victory in first round action of the Class 2A East Region Tournament on Thursday.
The Lady Bulldogs (25-3) only scored 16 points in the first half at White County Central, but the Hornets only managed to score six.
"We had a sluggish start and had trouble scoring in the first half," St. Joseph coach Chris Kordsmeier said. "It was good that we were able to get that first game jitters out the way. This one we had to win to be able to get to state, so that may be why the girls came out a little nervous. Our seniors took control and we played really strong in the second half."
According to Kordsmeier during that third quarter run, Jessie Moix hit a 3-pointer and Brooke Enderlin, who ended with a game-high in scoring with 11 and four assists, knocked down a pair of 3-pointers. Heather Moix was also a major contributor in the Lady Bulldogs’ spurt by scoring nine points and eight rebounds.
"We really got things started with our defense in the second half," Kordsmeier said. "Our defensive pressure caused us to pick off some of their passes, which led to some baskets in transition. I thought we really had balanced scoring tonight, with seven girls recording points."
For St. Joseph, Jessie Moix finished with seven points, five assists and five rebounds. Courtney Briggler came off the bench to pitch in six points. The Lady Bulldogs’ next game is at 4 pm on Friday against Bigelow. The Lady Panthers upset the No. 1 seed in the region, Carlisle, in their first round game.
"I know that Bigelow has a good team with some good size," Kordsmeier said. "I know that they have more girls that moved up from their junior high team, so they’re playing well. Every game is important because if we don’t win then we don’t play. We’re one step closer to our goal.
At this point in the season, it’s about surviving and advancing like the old cliche’ says."
The Lady Eagles ran into a buzzsaw in their first round game of the Class 3A Region 2 Tournament at Riverview on Thursday.
Unfortunately for Mayflower (16-9), the England Lady Lions jumped out ahead early and never gave up any ground in their 77-49 victory.
Even though the Lady Eagles suffered a season-ending loss, this year’s group accomplished many feats that haven’t been seen in recent years of the program. Mayflower finished in second in the Class 3A-5 Conference, earning a No. 2 seed for the region tournament.
"I’m proud of the girls and their effort this season. They had a good year," Mayflower coach David Frizzell said. "The girls came together as a team and we were able to win some ballgames. This was a good group of girls.
One of Mayflower’s seniors, Keri Fortson ended with a game-high 21 points. The other, Lujva Burianova led in assists with seven. The Lady Eagles’ Olivia Gray also scored 17 points.
"I have to give our two seniors all the credit for showing leadership," Frizzell said. "Those two led by example. Hopefully, next year we can build off of what we did this year, and pick up where we left off."
The Mount Vernon-Enola boys held on for a 85-74 victory over the Sparkman Raiders in the first round of the Class A Region 2 tournament.
The Warhawks were led by Colton Sherrill’s 24 points and Chris Hamilton followed in with 21 points. The Warhawks will play Blevins on Friday at 8:30 pm in a semifinal game at South Side Bee Branch.
"We have to get our legs back under us before Friday’s game," MVE coach Justin Rodgers said. "I’m anxious to see how much we have in the tank. ... You really have to take your hat off to Sparkman, they played a tought game."
Ouachita ended Mount Vernon-Enola’s run through the Class A Region 2 tournament with a 73-51 victory.